Some Cowboys Fans Don't Comply With Safety Protocols
The Cowboys yesterday had an announced crowd of 21,708 for their game against the Falcons at AT&T Stadium, but while the team "established and clearly communicated safety guidelines," compliance "varied noticeably by person and was influenced by events in the game itself," according to Michael Gehlken of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The Cowboys for their '19 home opener reported a paid attendance of 90,353, but yesterday's attendance "was 24% of that total." Masks are "required to be worn at all times" inside the venue and stadium staffers who noticed fans violating the mask policy "often instructed those fans to wear a mask." While most fans "adhered to the rule when walking on the concourse or purchasing prepackaged food with a cashless transaction, the policy noticeably was followed far more loosely once fans returned to their seats." Some "took pride in ignoring it altogether" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/21). In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel wrote a crowd of slightly more than 20,000 at AT&T Stadium "feels and sounds like a Texas high school playoff game." However, in the "days of COVID NFL, it qualifies as SRO" (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/20). Meanwhile, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones prior to Falcons-Cowboys said of whether he could envision a full stadium for a playoff game, "I would say that everything is going well, which we expect it to be going well, and I think we will evolve into more and more and more of our fans coming to games." He added, "I'm positive about the ability to put together more fans as we go" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/20).
NOT YET ON THE SAME PAGE: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday morning called the chances of the Bears having fans attend games at Soldier Field this season "less than 50% and said the team needs to do a better job of communicating." In Chicago, Brad Biggs noted her statement comes a week after Bears Chair George McCaskey "used the word 'optimistic'" when discussing the possibility of fans. McCaskey later Friday morning in an appearance on WGN-AM "reiterated the team does want to work in conjunction with city officials." He said, "I said we were hopeful, but we want to work with the city, have a good cooperative relationship with the city, and they don't want to bring fans to Soldier Field unless it is safe and appropriate to do so and neither do we." He added the team wants to be a "good partner and we want to do what is right for the city and for Bears fans." Biggs noted Lightfoot "admitted she is curious how safety protocols are being implemented in other cities where some fans are being allowed to attend games, citing the opener" in K.C. (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/19).